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Responding to violence against women

An international campaign - 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence kicked off on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The campaign will run till December 10, International Human Rights Day, to emphasize that all forms of violence against women are a violation of human rights.

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Afghanistan’s opium driven GDP

Opium accounts for more than half of Afghanistan's GDP (at 53%) in 2007, says UNODC's recent Afghan Opium Survey. The total export value of opiates produced and trafficked from the country hit $4 billion this year, of which three-quarters have been made by drug traffickers and insurgents, says Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of UNODC.

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Children are highest casualties in Bangladesh cyclone

Aid agencies have put the total death count at over 5,000 – more than half being children – four days after Cyclone Sidr wrecked Bangladesh’s southern coast. An estimated 400,000 children under the age of five have been affected by the fatal storm in Bangladesh, with many drowning or being injured by falling trees.

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Human rights body calls for ban on Burma’s gem trade

The Human Rights Watch has called for a ban on the import of Burma’s precious stones, saying the trade helps finance its military rulers to stay in power. The country is in deep political turmoil following the military junta crackdown against Buddhist monks and other civil protesters, who are being subject to severe human rights abuses.

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No more violence, cry Nandigram villagers

Forced to flee from their homes, the villagers of Nandigram now only want to be left in peace. The recent upsurge of political violence in this East Midnapore area in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal uprooted thousands now living in relief camps.

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Nine is Mine campaigners find support from child rights body chairperson

Eight children representing ‘Nine is Mine’ campaign met chairperson of the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights in New Delhi on Children’s Day in India. They sought her support for demand from government to invest 9% of the GDP on health and education.

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Track and support MDGs

The MDG Monitor is a new web space that provides comprehensive updated information about progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in about 130 countries. Plans to make it available in multiple languages are also in the offing and this will benefit a number of non-English speaking countries and people across the world.

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Children say Nine is Mine

On the eve of Children’s Day in India, a petition signed by 300,001 children was submitted to the government, demanding 9% of the Gross Domestic Product to be invested in education and health.

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Amnesty condemns attack on farmers in Nandigram

Human rights body Amnesty International has expressed concern at the recent political violence and displacement of hundreds of local inhabitants in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal. The governments’s decision to set up an industrial chemical hub in Nandigram had sparked protests from local communities fearing loss of livelihoods.

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Women mobilise community to turnaround slum

A group of women working in a basti (slum) in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh have brought in hygenic practices to its people by sheer and persistent determination.

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Enslaved children rescued from GAP sweatshop

Fourteen minors were recently rescued from the clutches of a sub-contractor, working for clothing giant GAP, by a local NGO in Shahpur Jaat area in the Indian capital. But what about the 100,000 child labourers still engaged in embroidery and zari sweatshops in Delhi?

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Stand Up’s numbers Speak Out loud

The Stand Up, Speak Out campaign by the Millennium Campaign and the Global Call to Action against Poverty, along with its partners have led to an incredible number of 43.7 million people – both physically and intentionally – standing up against poverty and in support of the Millennium Development Goals. The campaign’s success reveals a growing movement of people who want more urgent political responses to the growing crisis of global poverty.

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Rising oil prices a threat to MDGs

A new report from UNDP uses the Oil Price Vulnerability Index (OPVI) to measure the brunt of rising oil prices on Asia’s poor. While India may fare better than its neighbours in its ability to absorb oil price shocks, a continued rise could have an adverse impact on the region’s gains on MDGs, the report warns.

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Child slavery thriving in Indian cotton industry

India has distinction of having the largest area under cotton cultivation in the world and has been a pioneer in developing hybrid cotton seeds for commercial use. The Indian cottonseed industry is also marked by the highest proportion of child labour in its workforce.

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Guinness record for Stand Up, Speak Out

38.8 million people worldwide broke last year's numbers to make a new world record for the Stand Up, Speak Out campaign on October 17, the International Day for Eradication of Poverty. By standing up, these people are calling upon Governments to match their actions by displaying the political will to end poverty, said Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General.

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India going slow in reducing hunger, says Global Hunger Index

The second Global Hunger Index presents a gloomy picture when it comes to meeting the MDG targets related to hunger and child mortality. Barring a few regions of the world, it appears that hunger will continue to haunt humanity for a long time to come.

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Record 13 million Indians stand against poverty

India showed itself at the fore in standing up and speaking out against poverty on October 17 in the global anti-poverty campaign Stand Up and Speak Out. Over 38.7 million people created a new world record for the largest number of people to stand up for a cause, of which 13 million were from India.

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Asserting the right to be heard

In India, hundreds of women came together to raise their voices against poverty at the Women’s Tribunal on Poverty on October 17. The event, held at the national capital, was marked by the release of a women’s charter on poverty and a visit to the President.

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Landless poor marching to claim their rights

Over 25,000 people are marching 350 kilometres from Gwalior to Delhi, the Indian capital, asking for equal rights to land, forest and water. The Janadesh 2007 campaign focuses on restoring people's self-worth and dignity through issues about their livelihood resources. Jonathan Weedon, an Ekta Parishad volunteer from Scotland shares some of his experiences on the long march to liberty and equity.

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UNMC report on grassroots voices

The report, People’s Voices on MDGs 2007 highlights key policy areas, common obstacles, as well as MDG progress among countries in the South and Southeast Asia regions from the civil society perspective.

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